Spring heralds and we here at RunSociety can't get enough of Japan's wonders and its celebrated cherry blossoms! So what's new? We bring you the latest race scoop and a new way to appreciate this seasonal flora from the exotic island of Miyajima, just a 22 minute ferry ride away from Hiroshima Port.
Launching its very first edition on Sunday, 5 April 2015, the Miyajima Marathon invites you to take part in its 5km and 15km categories. Here, as you trace the island's north and northwest island coasts, you'll not only appreciate the delicate cherry blossoms in full bloom in the height of spring, but you may also get up close and personal with some of Miyajima's four-legged residents. Be mesmerised by the tame and gentle deer frisking around the island!
Join the 15km run for a new challenge—the gap between the highest and lowest points on this tough course is about 120m. The 5km race, on the other hand, is manageable for adults. Following the Japan Amateur Athletic Federation regulations, anyone who is in good health and can run 15km within 2h 30min, or 5km within 2h 20min, can participate! Elementary students, too, can join in the fun with the company of a guardian.
Beginning at Miyajima Jr High School, 15km runners will kick start the race at 10:00 a.m. and the 5km runners will follow suit 10min later. Upon reaching the Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Shizen Koen Beach, a 700m long coastal beach with a beautiful wide curve and shallow waters, the 5km runners will loop back and finish at the initial starting point. Meanwhile, 15km runners will continue pacing themselves on the course route along Takanosuura Bay, only turning back at the end of the pavement at Koshibosoura Bay.
Where Else To Go
At the Miyajima ferry pier, about a 15min 1.1km walk from the Miyajima Jr High School, you'll see the renowned Itsukushima Shrine. You can't miss its outstanding, vividly-coloured torii gate which is set out in the waters in the Seto Inland Sea. Enjoy the sea views here as the sun sets and stay around to witness its stunning transformation at night as the shrine and torii gate are illuminated.
If you visit the charming island early before the race, you can also catch the Miyajima Hina Doll Festival where antique dolls are displayed in historical residences and shops at over 30 locations around Miyajima.
You could also travel around Hiroshima pre or post-race, depending on your schedules. Plan a relaxing get-away with these great travel tips!
Sign-ups Have Just Begun!
Registration is open from 3 February 2015 to 15 March 2015, or till applications reach the capacity of 500 runners per category.
Sign up for US$28 for the 15km run and US$15 for the 5km run, and you'll get a limited edition commemoration towel of the 1st Annual Miyajima Marathon.
Register online at the Miyajima Marathon website.